Obama repeals Bush-era Title IX policy
The Obama administration is throwing out a Bush-era policy under the Title IX gender equity law that critics said made it easy for schools and colleges to avoid offering equal opportunities for women in athletics.
Title IX, passed in 1972, required schools to use a comprehensive evaluation to decide whether females were being given equal opportunity to participate.
In 2005, under then President George W. Bush, a new policy allowed schools to use a simple survey of women as its evaluation, and to combine non-responses with negative responses. Critics said gave institutions an easy way to avoid providing equal athletic opportunities for females.
But Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Vice President Joe Biden are announcing today that the policy is being repealed and that from now on, schools and colleges must provide stronger evidence that they offer equal athletic participation opportunities for for men and women.
Schools can comply with Title IX by matching the proportion of female athletes to the proportion of women on campus, showing a history of increasing sports for women, or proving that the school has met the interest and ability of women to participate in athletics. Before the Bush policy was put in place, schools choosing the third option had to use multiple measures to assess interest and ability among females. The schools will now have to do that again.
Duncan, in a statement, said the policy change is needed because of continuing discrimination against female athletes. The Education Department has sent letters about the policy change to more than 15,600 school districts and 5,600 college and university presidents.
The Washington D.C.-based College Sports Council, a private organization, blasted the change today in a statement by its president, Leo Kocher, who said the survey was a better way to measure the interest of students, while giving kids a voice in the decision-making process.
The policy change comes on the heels of a letter released by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission on April 1 that supported the survey method of expressing interest, saying, “Students (including women) are fully capable of expressing their interests.” The commission also recommended that males be surveyed as well.
What do you think about the change?
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| April 20, 2010; 12:49 PM ET
Categories: Sports | Tags: Obama administration, Obama and Title IX, Title IX, athletics in schools, discrimination against women
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